The visible church has so many conflicting voices in these days of apostasy that they can drown out the Master's voice. Jesus said His sheep would not follow the voice of a stranger, but many are doing so for lack of faithful under-shepherds. It makes me think of an old song, "If you can't be with the one you love, honey love the one you're with." That is the world's solution, but we are the Bride of Christ and no substitute will do for us.
Yet many true believers remain in a church
fellowship that has gone astray just for the sake of having some place
to go on Sunday morning. We tend to be creatures of habit. We get
comfortable in our routines and fall asleep spiritually even as we nod
off during a boring sermon.
Today's institutional church has
become a one-man show. The job description of the career pastor
encompasses all the gifts of the Body of Christ in himself. In our
modern age he is the only active one when the church gathers. The
passive congregation tends to leave all the thinking and doing to the
guy on salary.
This is where true born-again believers must
break with tradition and rediscover the New Testament church fellowship.
So much of modern church structure is not based on the Bible, but on
the hierarchical model of the Roman Catholic Church and her spin-offs.
Better to be scattered sheep following the Shepherd than to assemble
with the church of Laodicea where you will be fed stubble and be treated
as the outsider you truly are.
We really need to get back to
the Word of God and gather together in the unity of the Spirit. When we
do, God will raise up elders and gifted teachers once again in the
assemblies of the saints. We will all be better equipped to tune in to
His voice in this last hour as we await our final redemption.
If you already have such a church fellowship, you are truly blessed. You
are all working together to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the
highways and biways and are bearing fruit for His Kingdom. May God
continue to build you up and use you as a light to the lost.
"Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are
varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of
effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. But to
each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to
another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit. . . But one
and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one
individually just as He wills. For even as the body is one and yet has
many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are
one body, so also is Christ." - 1 Cor 12:4-8; 11-12
"How is it
then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm,
has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation.
Let all things be done for edification." - 1 Cor 14:26